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Are Marine Mammals the New Canaries? Pollution Targets the Immune System
By Michael Castleman

In the Baltic sea during early 1988, more than half of the harbor seals - some 25,000 animals - suddenly died. The die-off, the largest ever recorded for seals, was caused by a virus very similar to the one that causes distemper in dogs. Environmentalists immediately pointed to what they believed to be cause - industrial wastes discharged into the Baltic. More…

The Lead Hazard: The More We Learn, The HEAVIER The Problem Looks
By Michael Castleman

Not long ago, the threat of lead poisoning seemed far removed from the middle class. Scientists believed that lead, a highly toxic mineral, affected only children so poor that hunger drove them to eat lead-laced paint chips peeling from inner-city tenement walls. The neurological problems they suffered ... were undeniably tragic, in fact scandalous, but those who did not live in abject poverty generally felt distant from the problem. No one is exempt from the lead hazard any longer. More...

BUG OFF! Alternatives to DEET Insect Repellents
By Michael Castleman

The widely used bug repellent, DEET, has a downside. It may be hazardous to some children. There's no reason to panic, but this summer, you might try one of the growing number of non-DEET alternatives. Since 1961, a handful of medical journal reports have blamed the chemical for confusion, convulsions, brain damage, and even three deaths in children. More...

New Paradigm For Local Government
By Dennis Church

The pressure on governments at all levels to change they way they do business is growing steadily. Public confidence in governmental institutions is low. Polls show many people feel a deep anxiety about the future. People no longer take a better future for their children as an article of faith. More...

Green Jobs Growing In Your Home Town Government
By Melissa Everett

June Holte gets paid to do exactly what she loves: helping people redesign their own lifestyles to use fewer resources, free up time, and add spark to their daily existence. Sustainable consumption and voluntary simplicity are on many people's minds these days, but... getting paid to work on it? More...

Jobs Our Parents Never Heard Of
By Melissa Everett

Here's one more reason to dread the infamous party question, "What do you do for a living?" When you're talking about a fair number of the positions connected with protecting and restoring the environment, it is not easy to answer that question in less than 1000 words. Does Thanksgiving dinner, with family questions, send you into performance anxiety? That's because so many new environmental jobs come in such unorthodox packages. More...

No Need To Go Solo To Innovate: Try Intrapreneurship
By Melissa Everett

Maybe it's the economy, and maybe a lot of us are feeling the pressure to perform while we're still at our peak, but lately I've been hearing a lot of people struggling with the dilemma: get a job or start a business? Both can seem soooo compelling. Both can seem sooooo risky. If you're an enterprising soul, but you're wishing for a supportive structure around you, consider a third path: creating something new within an established workplace. More...

Sustainable Building: The Buzz Is Greater Than The Saw
By Katherine Thornberry

The latest buzzword being heard in design and construction circles across the U.S. is "sustainability." Sustainable design and building is generally defined as using products and procedures that make environmentally sensitive use of land, minimize waste, maximize resource and energy efficiency, conserve water, and do not pollute indoor air. More...

A Unique Home With A Unique Story
By Katherine Thornberry

The eclectic mix of homes that characterizes the Los Altos, California Loyola Corners neighborhood now boasts another unconventional home, but one with quite a unique story. Amid the modest cottages that date to the area's early orchard days, the ranch-style homes of the 1950s and 60s, and today's million dollar executive homes, stands a home constructed of all-metal framing and roofing and environmentally-sensitive building materials. More...

Creating Livable 21st Century Cities
First of a Series
By Karen Walz

Livability. Smart growth. Sustainability. These are some of the phrases politicians, urban planners, developers and others use when describing the future of American communities. The words used by residents are more direct: safe, clean, affordable, friendly, with good jobs. More...

Creating Livable 21st Century Cities
Second of a Series
By Karen Walz

What makes a livable city? What lessons can be learned from today's cities so the cities of the future are both livable and sustainable? In this article, the examination of major postwar cities in the United States continues with an assessment of the characteristics that define these cities and distinguish them from older major cities. More...

Creating Livable 21st Century Cities
Third of a Series
By Karen Walz

As we begin the 21st century, it is clear that emerging technologies and changes in the economy will have a significant impact on the shape of our urban areas. At the same time, the long-term viability of these areas will depend on the locational choices made by millions of individuals and businesses, choices that will be based on the same question as in past centuries - is this city a good place to live and conduct business? This series of articles explores the factors that help answer that question. More...

From Wastes To Resources: It’s Time for a Paradigm Shift
By Richard Gertman

We need to return to the goal -- sensible diversion programs that recover materials and maintain their value. Resources should be recovered for their value, not just to keep them out of a landfill. We need to change the focus, but to do so will require a paradigm shift. More...

Damn the Torpedoes & Torpedo the Dams
By Robert Caughlan

Four hundred miles of California’s fabulous beaches are starving for sand, but surfers and other beach lovers have the muscle to bring them back. We know why they’re starving and shrinking, and we know how to rescue them. More...

Environmental Stewardship Vs. Economic Development
By Walter McGuire

In the long term, the economy and the environment are inextricably linked. Today's economy depends heavily on the availability and cost of resources. Yet, we have built an economy that values resource consumption rather than stewardship. More...

How Profit Shapes Urban Space
By Jeffery J. Smith

Like the rest of the universe, US cities keep expanding. Some time before the universe begins to contract, American metro regions may, too. What counterpart to gravity might suck suburbia back into the hole of our doughnut cities? More...

Present Value, Future Value: Intergenerational Ethics In Water Supply Planning
By Eric Rosenblum

In 1746 Benjamin Franklin warned, "When the Well's dry, we know the Worth of Water." As difficult as it is to anticipate thirst in the midst of rain, it is even harder to appreciate today the needs of generations yet unborn, and to provide for them. More...

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